Published: April 27, 2021
Reading time:  minute read
Written by: Forter Team

Business owners are juggling a lot –  from managing employees to meeting customer expectations – they are constantly focused on problem-solving multiple issues at once.

However, one issue that may fly under the radar for businesses is false declines.

A  false decline is a legitimate transaction blocked due to being labeled as fraudulent.

The question is: Why should businesses care about the effects of false declines?

The Impacts of False Declines

Any business in any industry can experience false declines. False declines rarely affect traditional brick and mortar businesses. Since a physical card is presented and charged, the transactions are far more likely to go through.

This means that it’s online businesses and transactions that are at greater risk. No matter the industry, any business transacting online can experience false declines. Some examples include:

  • Fashion retailers
  • Technology
  • Home improvement
  • Software

How do False Declines Happen?

Contrary to in-person transactions, online purchases don’t require a physical card. They simply require some account information, from a credit card number to the security code. Because of this, anti-fraud protection will often wrongfully block these transactions, since the information is easier to obtain for fraudsters than stealing a physical card.


All online businesses need to worry about false declines. Their effects are well-documented and can cost businesses financially and even affect their relationships with customers. They’re an unfortunate reality for all businesses regardless of industry.

However, there are tools that help keep false declines to a minimum while preventing fraudsters from targeting your business. Forter’s Payment Protection service, for example, effectively blocks fraudulent transactions while simultaneously reducing false declines by up to 90%.

Is Your Business Missing Out?

False declines are a detriment to new shoppers. For online merchants, this means losing out on potential business. Check out our NUMO report to find out just how much you could be missing out on.

 minute read